The following post is a transcript of Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s answer on the question, “how the Positive Psychology movement has been started?” (recorded at the IPPA conference, July 2017, in Montreal.)
… Some of us felt that psychology was too focused on individual behavior and values didn’t really play any role in the essence of our time. And psychology should take more seriously what makes a good life, what makes a good life for individuals, for society and for the future.
This was not really planned out when Martin Seligman and I started to think about Positive Psychology nineteen or whatever years ago. I never thought that would be so many interested people in it who wanted to do this kind of thing.
You keep a scientific mindset and be open to a future that may be very different from the present.
And what is really worth doing? What do we want children to learn? How do we want to end our lives after our productive years are over? I certainly have no answer to it, except to say that we should not give up trying to find out. Should have faith and hope in the future and we should try to be objective about it. You keep a scientific mindset and be open to a future that may be very different from the present. I know this sounds very kind of cautious and not a big shift of let’s go, let’s do this, let’s do that, but I don’t think we are there, we have to find out.
And I hope you guys will do that!